Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last month, you are probably aware that the Galway Races are on this week. That means dresses, gambling, some drinking, and of course a lot of people.
The who’s who of Galway businesses (Business owners, Hiring managers, decision makers) will attend and for all the same reasons as you, mostly fun but also to connect with people. The Galway Races and events like it, are great opportunities to do business, improve your current working environment or find your next job.
There are events like this all around the country, festivals and meetings that take over a community and that everyone talks about for weeks before and after. Networking at these events can help you progress within your current company or find a great new opportunity.
- Secure your dream job.
- Improve your relationship with new or current colleagues.
- Create a really good working relationship with a number of high profile clients which in turn could help improve how you perform in your current job. This makes you a more attractive job candidate and better placed to progress your career.
- Re-kindle previous business relationships that may have been left alone for a while.
Of course, networking can be daunting to the most confident of people. Here are our top 5 tips on how to make connections like a pro:
Think about first impressions
Plan what you are going to wear, nothing too bright or over the top. Be business like but don’t be afraid to choose something that shows a bit of personality. Whatever you choose be comfortable and confident as this could be your next big step in your career.
Find out who else is going
Make sure you go in with a plan on who you want to meet and who you know will be there. Identify colleagues from your team, your office, other businesses in your sector/industry that are going so you can build a strategy and make sure that you aren’t wandering around on your own.
Remember that you are trying to present yourself as a prospective employee. By all means enjoy the event, place your bets and even have a drink if you want; just make sure that you present as professional and engaged when you meet a prospective employer.
Use your contacts
Make it your business to speak to work colleagues or friends in your chosen industry and find out who they know at the event. You will have a much better chance at making a connection if you are introduced to a prospective contact by someone they know.
If your conversations do not turn to business while you are at an event, don’t worry! Now that they know who you are you can move on to business with a follow up phone call or email.
Don’t forget to have a smile for everyone you meet. People can’t help but smile back.
“It’s nice to be important but it’s more important to be nice.”